Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Gathering The Moments

I'm Gathering the Moments with Cheryl again this month!

This month's Gathering The Moments is one of domestic beauty, the animals at our cottage and a wedding for Pastor Mike and Jenny, and the privilege I had in helping create a beautiful day for them.
These are the memories we want to remember.

Today is also my daughter Rachel's 15th birthday.

I'm sharing photos from the wedding of her, as I don't have a lot of candid shots of her.  She is not one who likes her photo taken, doesn't like to draw attention to herself.

She is a delightful young woman, inside and out.  Committed to the Lord, a lover of children and animals.  She is a girl who is able to see a task that needs to be done and is ready to help get it done.  She is funny, serious, bookish.  She is my daughter and friend.

 She is a delight to me everyday.  She is a gift to me and to our whole family.  I am so thankful for her.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Home Keeping: Finished Projects

Monday saw the start of two projects here at our cottage.  The first one was I began painting Kyle's desk, and that lead to Emma wanted her bookcase painted too.  The second project that started was a trip to Delaware to the Sears Outlet Store to find a new stove.

As I have said here before, we installed propane to the house when we moved in and have been replacing appliances and systems from electric to propane ever since.  We did away with the electric baseboard heat, and put in A/C and new heat system, changed two electric hot water tanks out for a bigger, gas water tank, changed our electric clothes dryer for a gas dryer, and now we have said 'good-bye' to our faithful electric range.  It was dying of old age.  Only two burners worked on it, and they were the small ones.  The oven door wouldn't close all the time.  It was time to switch to a gas range.  You can read about that here.

This week has been all about trying to get these projects done.  My painting projects were helped by several days of rain.  I got those finished!

 Kyle's desk back in place.  I need to find a knob for the drawer!

 Now onto Emma's bookcase!

 Here it is finished and back in her room.

 We are loving this color Florence by Annie Sloan!

And here is my new darling!  Tim finished its' installation last night at 7:00pm and we celebrated with Chinese takeout!  We did enjoy turning the knobs and watching it the burners light!  Yeah, we are wild and crazy like that.  It's the simple things, people.

Contented sigh……

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Home Keeping: Painted Desk {Work in Progress}

As you can see, my room is not painted yet, but I am continuing my goal of learning to paint furniture well.  I am in love with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and want to learn to use it to improve some of the furniture in the house.

Kyle's desk is a hand me down, from Sarah, who got it from Nate, and I don't remember whether someone gave this to us or if we bought it at a yard sale.  Anyway, it was thrashed.  I had painted it white at some point but had neglected to do anything with it for years as you can see.  So the other day I was at my friend's store Fresh Vintage by Amy and a sample pot of Annie Sloan's Florence caught my eye.

It's a small desk so I figured I could make the sample pot stretch to do the whole thing, but I was wrong.  I went yesterday and bought a quart.

Here's what it looked like when I got started.

 Kamryn loves to draw, can you tell?  After wiping it down really well, I began painting.

I am in love with this color!

I didn't finish the desk yesterday, because after buying the paint, I came home to mow before a thunderstorm was due.  I then went to get my haircut,  much needed since I hadn't had even a trim since the week before Lindsay's wedding!  Then we went to a friend's cello recital.  He was great by the way! Yay, Max!

Today I have most of the day free.  Just a cello lesson for Rachel in the afternoon.  I am determined to finish the desk today.  Oh, and Emma is in love with this color too, and has asked me to paint a small bookcase from her bedroom, which I am happy to do!

I watched a few YouTube tutorials by Annie Sloan and I really liked her too.  Here is the link to her channel on YouTube, in case your interested.  So inspirational and she has a great accent too!

Have you ever painted with Chalk Paint?  Milk Paint?  Let's chat about it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kitchen: It's Here!

I may have mentioned that my stove is 19 years old.  It has been a work horse over the years.  I can't tell you how many meals have been made with her, but it is in the tens of thousands, I'm sure.

For the last year, only two burners have worked - the smaller burners, in fact.  Sigh.  The oven door hasn't closed tightly for several years…you get the idea.

We knew that when we replaced this stove, we would switch to a gas range, as we have propane to the house and over time have switched most of our big appliances (water heater, clothes dryer) to gas.

We've been looking online for years.   I love the Aga but there is a brand called Blue Star that I like as well.  However the prices of these ranges are out of our budget, so we talked about just what we would want in a new stove and found a very nice one at a Sears Outlet store last night.

Right now this lovely thing is sitting in front of my china hutch.  Tim needs a small part to convert it from natural gas to propane when he hooks it up.

I am so excited to have 5 burners!  And a bigger space in the oven!  It also has a convection setting for the oven!  

I can't wait to try it out!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Remembering the sacrifice of so many…  I pray we will remember just what they laid their lives down - the principles this country was founded upon.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Home Keeping: Garden Work and House Work

We got four tomato plants in yesterday, two yellow peppers, a basil, parsley, lavender and chamomile.

That is it.  The rest of the veggies we like, we will purchase at local road side stands.  I'm okay with that for this year.

I have no photos because we were in a hurry to beat an oncoming storm.

Then Kyle and I gave his bedroom some attention.

Kyle took the photos of his room.  It was just in need of some de-cluttering, and tidying of his book case.  We also vacuumed.

I have been enjoying Dee Henderson's book "Unspoken."  I really enjoy her writing.  I stayed up until 1:30 am reading last night.  I probably will finish it tonight!

Tomorrow Rachel and I are driving my nieces to Dulles International Airport, so I will be away for the bulk of the day, as it is a three hour drive down and three hours back. ;)  It will be an adventure!  I hope an easy one.  Prayers are appreciated!

Have you read Dee Henderson's books?  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May Note Card Party

Welcome everyone to Vee's Note Card Party!  Vee is the hostess with the mostest and has set up this monthly party for our fun, and I do have fun visiting the participants and viewing their beautiful photos.

My cards this month are a pretty collection of vintage style photos, that would work for any occasion.

The lid of the box is three of the photos done in my Waterlogue app.

Thank you for visiting!

To see some really beautiful photo note cards, pop over to Vee's Haven and follow the links!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Home Keeping: Painting Furniture

So, I did paint my cabinet on Saturday.

 I really like it.  It's not a bright cherry red like it looks in several of the photos.  That is a result of the overhead light in my dark all way.  It's a darker red and I really like it!

Here is a reminder of what it looked like last week when Kyle gave it too me for Mother's Day.

It's so great now, isn't it?

I am a really pleased with how it turned out.  

I know I have lots to learn with using the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but it is fun working on these little projects.

These are two other projects I've done with this same quart of paint.

I painted the inside of my great grandmother's china hutch.

 And I painted this little table for a corner baking station.  

 I am reading up on using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on kitchen cabinets.  I am thinking that this may be what I use.  

Have any of you ever used ASCP?  I know that my friend jAne, at {& wear} pearls, uses it exclusively.  

So do you like how it turned out?  Chalk paint lovers/haters?  Let me hear it!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Chat:Random Bits of This and That

Well, how did four days go by without a new post?  I'll tell you how; this is our crazy birthday month, Tim had a day off and we finished school this week and had our evaluations yesterday.  Whew!

Since Tuesday's post I have run errands with Tim to Tractor Supply (he's building a chicken waterer) on his day off, gone with him and my parents to look at modular houses that could possibly be added on as an addition for them here at our house, shopped for a new gas range,  made a birthday dinner and cake for my Mom, had our evaluations for our homeschool year yesterday and then did my big shopping trip for groceries.

I'm tired, but happy.  The kids are doing great with their learning, all above grade level in reading, Sarah is above grade level with writing as well, and Kyle is above grade level with his math.  Mostly I'm pleased because they a lovely people, who care about others, and are fun to be with.

Tim is working a lot of hours this month, as they do yearly maintenance on presses and other units in the building.  Lots of hours.  I like to keep busy during these days and now that we are on our summer break from school, I can focus on doing projects around the house.  

Today I am going to paint my cabinet that Kyle bought me for Mother's Day, and I am eyeing all my other wooden furniture as well!  I told Tim that I am wanting to paint our kitchen cabinets, and he was fine with it, so I may get that project done this summer, too.

I am leaning toward the red cabinets on the bottom and white up top with on set of upper cabinets open.  It's fun to do new things, isn't it?

I also have not painted my bedroom yet, but hope to get to that this next week.  Yay!

The maple tree helicopters are flying here today, and the sun is shining brightly.  It's going to be a great day.

What are you up to?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Home Education: Day 180

I know I've mentioned before that we try to live a lifestyle of learning here at our cottage.  We do use the phrases "time to do school" and "school work" but only out of habit.  We don't want our kids to think, "now it's time to learn, but later I won't have to."  We want to use their natural curiosity and encourage them to be interested in the world around them.  My goal in educating my children is to instill a love of learning in them and the ability to know how to learn.  

Our children are normal kids with natural bents toward certain subjects.  All of them love to read, and the girls spend a lot of time every day with their noses in a book, but only a few of my kids are math lovers.

I am not one to use a box curriculum per grade, and love to do as many subjects together as possible.  Once they hit high school grades they do almost all of their work independently, other than history.  History we still do together.

My goal in educating my children is to instill a love of learning in them and the ability to know how to learn.  

This year we have studied World History during the years that Christopher Columbus and his sons were living.  I use Genevieve Fosters' books on history.  They are a great read and fascinating for anyone.  This time period is fascinating because of all the intermarriage of the European royalty, intrigue over the thrones, military campaigns, etc.

We learned about Mozart, and Van Gogh this year too.  We listened to a variety of music this year, especially The Piano Guys, as well, as Mozart, Two Steps From Hell (not a rock band, they do soundtracks - link here), Electric Light Orchestra (yes ELO).  I laughed when I realized they were listening to ELO, particularly Mr. Blue Sky and thought it was so cool.  Music from my youth!  They also love to listen to Worship music which we play on Pandora or Spotify!  I love that it is the soundtrack of our daily lives!

Rachel plays the cello and is progressing well.  Her instructor is working on an arrangement of Gustav Holst's Jupiter for both cello and violin.  Rachel is hoping Lindsay will learn it and that they can play it together.  The portion they want is the one used for the hymn O God Above All Praising.  Sarah is learning piano and is loving it!  She played When I Survey The Wondrous Cross on Easter Sunday for offertory.  

Today is our last day for this school year.  We start in the beginning of August every year and work through, no snow days, but we do take vacation days, like when we went to Florida in September to do some work on Tim's mother's home.  We also took some days the week before Lindsay's wedding and we took the week off after the wedding.  

We meet with our evaluator this Friday and then take a break until August.  We all look forward to this time, though we read everyday and they work on a bit of math over the summer.  All very relaxed and enjoyable.

I'm glad that I still have children in the home to educate because I love it so.  I have begun some preschool work with Kamryn too.  So fun to see her learning.  Its come full circle since I started with her Daddy, and now am teaching her.  Her favorite thing right now is watercolor painting!

I'm thankful for the time that God has given me with my kids, and  thankful to be building relationships with them and to be able to disciple them.  The ones who've finished their K-12 education have gone on to be hardworking, caring, responsible people.  I'm proud of them.

Vacation starts tomorrow, and for me that means a day to myself, as the kids will be spending the day with my parents.  Kyle gets to spend tonight with them, going to a Barnstormers game, and sleeping in the man cave with Grandpa.  I'm fairly certain there will be some Myth Busters, or Storm Chaser watching as well.  

I am contented and blessed, and very thankful.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gifts From The Heart

One thing that made my heart happy yesterday, was to realize that my children have listened to their mother well, and put my words into practice!

What I am talking about is my telling them for years that the cost of a gift is not as important as the thought behind it and that they should try to gift a person with something that will be a delight to them.  Even if the gift is from Goodwill or a yard sale.  If you find a piece of pottery, or a book they've wanted for years, etc, that is the key, not the expense of the item.

Last weekend, while I was busy setting up the reception for our pastor's wedding, our neighbors had a yard sale.  My youngest kids visited it and bought treasures for me.  Real treasures!

 Kyle bought me this cabinet with his own money.  It was $5 and he was so proud!  He couldn't wait to give it to me!

 He told me he knew I would want to paint it and he's right!  I will paint it!  I love this little cabinet and it is perfect at the end of our hallway.

 This little leaf bowl was from Rachel.  I love interesting pottery and I have several leaf type plates and bowls.  The color is so pretty too!

This white enamel pitcher is also 'me'.  I love it!  Didn't Sarah do a great job picking this out for me?

Nate and Kay gave me a Barnes and Noble gift card (they know how to feed my book addiction) and this lovely Begonia.  Emma and Nate ordered a really cool phone cover from this Etsy shop.

Isn't it adorable?  I love it!  Again it's very 'me.'

Guess what I gave my Momma?

That's right, green canning jars.  

Do you like the new Ball jars with these colors?  They are bolder color than the originals, but we like them.  We use them to hold flowers, drink iced tea, hold flatware on buffets, contain bouncy balls, or marbles….the possibilities are endless.

I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday and that the gifts you received whether meals prepared, time with family, hugs from your children/grandchildren were just the thing to delight your heart.

Information Friday, On Saturday

  Well, I was all set to do a post yesterday, but I had trouble uploading my photos. I really thought I'd get it done in the evening, bu...